Risotto recipes for you to try

Risotto recipes originated in Northern Italy but are now eaten around the world. They bear a similarity to the American Jambalaya, although traditionally a long grain rice is used in jambalaya recipes.

Risotto recipes you will find on this page include...

Zucchini, leek and shrimp - Mushroom - Chicken liver risotto

Risotto recipes originated in Northern Italy but are now eaten around the world. They bear a similarity to the American Jambalaya, although traditionally a long grain rice is used in jambalaya recipes.

A basic risotto is made from Arborio rice, stock, meat, fish or vegetables. The rice is always cooked from scratch, but leftovers can be used to flavour it. But whereas jambalaya can have everything thrown in, a risotto is normally kept to just a few additions.

The thing to keep in mind when learning how to make risotto is that you need to stay with it while it cooks, stirring constantly. This requirement has led to the myth that they are difficult to cook. Hopefully this page will prove to you that it can be easy!


Zucchini, Leek and Shrimp Risotto

Ingredients

serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small leek, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini (courgette), finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 6oz (175g) Arborio or risotto rice
  • 2 fl oz dry white wine
  • 1.25 pints (3/4 litre) hot vegetable stock
  • 3.5oz cooked prawns (shrimp)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Pour the stock into a pan, and place it on a low/medium heat to keep it hot.
  2. Take a large pan and heat up the olive oil. Pop in the leek, zucchini and garlic. Cook gently until they are soft.
  3. Stir in the rice, and cook for 1 minute so it soaks up the oil.
  4. Pour in the wine and turn up the heat a little. Cook for a few minutes until the wine has evaporated.
  5. Using a ladle, gradually add the stock to the rice in the pan, stirring in between each addition until the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. When nearly all of the stock has been added, and the risotto has had around 20 minutes of cooking time, add the prawns (shrimp) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour in the remaining stock and stir everything together. Take the pan off the heat, pop the lid on and leave it for a couple of minutes before serving.

Mushroom risotto recipe

Prep time: 10 min

Cooking time: 45 min

Total time: 55 min

Yield: 3 servings


Ingredients

  • butter - 1oz (30g)
  • onion - 1/2 medium, chopped
  • bacon - 1 rasher (slice), rind removed
  • garlic - 1 clove peeled but not crushed
  • parsley - 1 tbsp finely chopped
  • mushrooms - 4oz, sliced
  • Arborio rice - 11oz (325g)
  • chicken stock - 1 3/4 pints
  • Parmesan cheese - 2-4 tablespoons, grated (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method for Mushroom Risotto

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and then add the onions, garlic and bacon. Fry gently until the onion is soft and just changing colour.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan along with the parsley, and cook over a low heat for a few minutes. (Now you can take the garlic out, it was only for flavour and we don't want someone to bite into a whole clove!)
  3. Add the rice to the pan, and continue frying for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add about half of the chicken stock and cook gently until it is all absorbed. Add the remaining stock and cook gently, stirring occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed which will take around 20-30 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Heat through for a few minutes on a low heat and serve with more cheese sprinkled on top.

Chicken liver risotto

Liver, along with kidney and other internal organs, is also known as "offal". Offal is an often neglected protein source, which also provides plenty of iron. Some liver, such as pig's, can have a strong taste, but chicken livers are more delicately flavoured.

I first put this recipe together not long after I got married, back in the early 80s. Although we had an old second hand cooker, the oven temperature could not be relied on (it once burned a cake in just 10 minutes!!), so I cooked most meals on the hob at that time.  

This has proved a family favourite ever since and we still enjoy it at least once a month.


Ingredients

Serves 2 to 3 people

  • 8oz chicken livers
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 rounded tablespoons risotto rice
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 3/4 pint boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1 small tin of garden peas (or frozen)
  • 2oz grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese

Method for chicken liver risotto

  1. Cut the onion in half, peel and dice. Also chop the livers, bacon and mushrooms. You can use a sharp cook's knife for this, or you can use kitchen scissors to cut the liver and bacon, if you prefer.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (or skillet). When hot, add the livers, bacon and onion and fry gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice to the pan along with the mushrooms, and continue cooking until the oil has been absorbed.
  4. Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water (or use my recipe to make your own chicken stock) and pour into the pan. Sprinkle in the herbs and stir gently. 
  5. Bring the pan to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer, where it is only just bubbling. Cook for a further 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the stock has been absorbed. Stir frequently. 
  6. Stir in the drained, tinned peas, and warm them through. 
  7. Serve sprinkled with the cheese.



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